Heathers, the beloved ’80s cult classic starring Winona Ryder, is getting a total revamp. The movie, which is basically Mean Girls if Mean Girls had murder and shoulder pads, is coming to TV as an anthology series.
Much like Fargo and American Horror Story, the series will feature a new group of evil and popular Heathers each season. Unlike the original Heathers, the maniacal, delusionally egotistical popular girls won’t be running the school. This time, it’s the outcasts who are in charge (because if we were going to suspect anyone for murder, it definitely wouldn’t be the people popular kids torture).
The new characters have already been announced, and they’re quite a bit different from the perfectly coiffed, shoulder-padded, ’80s-tastic mean girls we’d expect. Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk’s character) is a black lesbian, Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) is a gender-queer male whose real name is Heath, and Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) will look like Martha Dumptruck.
The series will be directed by Leslye Headland, who admitted that she wasn’t familiar with Heathers until she saw it in her twenties. “I related with it so much,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t believe they got away with so much. The movie was a huge influence on an entire generation and it’ll be nice to introduce this to a new generation.”
The series doesn’t sound much like the original movie, and we’re not quite sure how it’s going to work. Part of the reason Heathers was so successful is because the girls’ popularity made them unlikely murder suspects, but their delusions of grandeur made it plausible that they’d kill. But everyone already knows it’s hard not fitting in, especially in high school. Would it be at all surprising if a group of nerds rose up against their high school bullies? The scorned outcast is a trope that launched a thousand slasher movie villains, and even in a less grim application, it’s the reason people like Katy Heron joined the Plastics in the first place — to get revenge. Still, we’re going to give Heathers the benefit of the doubt, even if we’re not sure anyone can fill Winona’s oversized blazer.
This isn’t the first time someone wanted to bring back Heathers. In 2012, Bravo toyed with the idea of Heathers 2, which would feature the Ashleys, a group of nasty high school teenagers lead by the daughter of Ryder’s character Veronica. Unfortunately, that reboot was squashed.
Heathers will air on TV Land, but it’s too early to tell when the series will premiere.